A renowned Civil Engineer has described the legalization of Okada debate as one “dead on arrival” as he believes the Okada business can only be made legal in rural areas but will be very wrong to legalize its usage in urban centers regardless of its benefits.
According to him, regardless of proper structures and policies that will be put in place to ensure safety and proper regulation, the legalization of Okada will just make the situation on our roads worse.
In an interview on Happy 98.9 FM’s Samuel Eshun, host of the Happy Morning Show, Mahama Abdulai (Ing) admitting that he has benefitted from Okada on a number of occasions spoke against its legalization.
“I have benefited from Okada when I was coming from Nsawam and got stuck in a traffic jam regardless of setting off three (3) hours before time. Though it helps, we should not legalize Okada usage in the country”.
He believes that if regulations are even put in place to regulate the business, it will amount to nothing. “Few years ago, all the commercial vehicles (trotros) were mandated to have seatbelts fixed in all seats but do we see that now? How many vehicles have seatbelts for passengers?” he queried.
The engineer who believes the same may happen after Okada is legalized says, when we disregard all regulations, it will be difficult for us to see improvements in our transport system but admitted that only dispatch riders used by companies are properly regulated and go for periodic examinations.
Mahama Abdulai when asked if it was feasible to build dedicated lanes for motorbikes had this to say, “In an ideal situation, the road engineer presents his designs with all the necessary components accounted for. But the client (gov’t) always asks for some components to be removed to reduce cost. But we can still build special pavements for the motorbikes but it will cost us more now.
We have limited reservations along our roads and we will need an average of 1.5meteres if we now want to make space for motorbikes. We will have to breakdown a lot of buildings especially those around Tesano.
He advised the two leading political parties to assess the situation thoroughly before deciding to legalize Okada or not. “Both parties who want to legalize or ban Okada have engineers in their mist and they need to give them time to assess the situation and come to a conclusion on the issue”.
By: Joel Sanco